Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests: the attained and the attainable

Francis E Putz, Pieter A Zuidema, Timothy Synnott, Marielos Pena-Claros, Michelle A Pinard, Douglas Sheil, Jeremy K Vanclay, Plinio Sist, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury, Bronson Griscom, John Palmer, Roderick Zagt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

307 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most tropical forests outside protected areas have been or will be selectively logged so it is essential to maximize the conservation values of partially harvested areas. Here we examine the extent to which these forests sustain timber production, retain species, and conserve carbon stocks. We then describe some improvements in tropical forestry and how their implementation can be promoted. A simple meta-analysis based on >100 publications revealed substantial variability but that: timber yields decline by about 46% after the first harvest but are subsequently sustained at that level; 76% of carbon is retained in once-logged forests; and, 85-100% of species of mammals, birds, invertebrates, and plants remain after logging. Timber stocks will not regain
primary-forest levels within current harvest cycles, but yields increase if collateral damage is reduced and silvicultural treatments are applied. Given that selectively logged forests retain substantial biodiversity, carbon, and timber stocks, this “middle way” between deforestation and total protection deserves more attention from researchers, conservation organizations, and policy-makers. Improvements in forest management are now likely if synergies are enhanced among initiatives to retain forest carbon stocks (REDD+), assure the legality of forest products, certify responsible management, and devolve control over forests to empowered local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalConservation Letters
Volume5
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

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tropical forests
tropical forest
timber
carbon
carbon sinks
tropical and subtropical forestry
forestry production
forest products
forest product
meta-analysis
timber production
deforestation
logging
forest management
protected area
forestry
conservation areas
mammal
researchers
invertebrate

Keywords

  • biodiveristy
  • conservation
  • carbon
  • tropical forest
  • biodiversity conservation
  • FLEGT
  • forest carbon
  • REDD
  • sustainable forest management
  • tropical forestry
  • tropical siviculture

Cite this

Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests : the attained and the attainable. / Putz, Francis E; Zuidema, Pieter A; Synnott, Timothy; Pena-Claros, Marielos; Pinard, Michelle A; Sheil, Douglas; Vanclay, Jeremy K; Sist, Plinio; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Griscom, Bronson; Palmer, John; Zagt, Roderick.

In: Conservation Letters, Vol. 5, No. 4, 08.2012, p. 296-303.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Putz, FE, Zuidema, PA, Synnott, T, Pena-Claros, M, Pinard, MA, Sheil, D, Vanclay, JK, Sist, P, Gourlet-Fleury, S, Griscom, B, Palmer, J & Zagt, R 2012, 'Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests: the attained and the attainable', Conservation Letters, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 296-303. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00242.x
Putz, Francis E ; Zuidema, Pieter A ; Synnott, Timothy ; Pena-Claros, Marielos ; Pinard, Michelle A ; Sheil, Douglas ; Vanclay, Jeremy K ; Sist, Plinio ; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie ; Griscom, Bronson ; Palmer, John ; Zagt, Roderick. / Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests : the attained and the attainable. In: Conservation Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 5, No. 4. pp. 296-303.
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